Thursday, February 16, 2012

Such a chore

One of the things that's really important to Jude and I is that Sophie learns to help out around the house. With both of us working full-time, chores are pretty much left to nights and weekends and we've decided that we should slowly involve Sophie in small ways. She already knows to clean up her toys after she's done and to return her books to the shelf. It doesn't always get done efficiently or gets done every time we ask her, but when we show that we're helping her in some way, she'll almost always do her own little part.

Lately, she's become really interested in helping out in the kitchen- maybe it's because we baked bread together last weekend or the fact that she's been playing with the toy kitchen in her play yard for months. Whatever the case may be, when I asked if she wanted to help me with dinner last night, she was so enthused, you'd think I had asked her if she wanted to go to the circus! And so I set a tray of asparagus on the floor and taught her how to snap them at their ends to trim off the hard inedible stalks. It took only a few tries before she became a pro.

My happy sous chef
My happy sous chef

Sophie's also been helping us with the laundry-- transferring the wet clothes into the dryer and emptying the dry clothes into the laundry basket-- and she absolutely loves it :) I think a lot of it has to do with being allowed in the basement, which for the longest time has been The Place Into Which You Shall Not Descend, so there's that element of mystery and excitement. But I also think that Sophie genuinely enjoys doing these chores because it makes her feel valued and important. We always pile on the praise when she does her part and tell her what a good job she's done. We've also been using her potty training chart as a general chore chart so every time she does a task well-- like puts her books away or helps with the laundry-- we give her a gold star :)

We're still working on small chores so no folding laundry (too tricky) or any actually cleaning (too daunting) any time soon. It's not like we're depending on Sophie to get housework done but it's a good start. She's learning what it's like to be part of a team — in this case, family — that relies on and values her contributions and hopefully, she'll pick up some good habits along the way too :)

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